Lacunae: the ‘benefits’

So (see my post of 21 January) we do not know a great deal about George Calderon’s training at Fort Brockhurst between now and the middle of April 1915, nor about his relationship with Kittie in that period, because of the lack of epistolary evidence.

Even so, I shall be able to describe some major, sometimes surprising developments for which there is documentary evidence, and I defy followers to predict these! I certainly would never have been able to predict them. One thing I will say even at this stage, is that Calderon was able to spend quite a few weeks at home during this period.

As I see it, there will be some benefits to having ‘lacunae’ in our Calderon storyline over these three-plus months, viz.:

1. I shall be able to keep followers up to date with the general military developments that directly impacted on George’s life down in Gosport. These are terribly important, of course, for any contextualisation of life in Britain in 1915. Over the last three months I have made a detailed study of the Gallipoli front and listened to the views of experts.

2. I will be able to offer my readings of various key themes in George’s literary life, especially the quality of his Chekhov translations and writing on Chekhov’s plays. This will be, so to speak, a purely synchronic dimension to an essentially diachronic blog, or to put it more simply: not time past, but time present. It will give me an opportunity to get various things off my chest that have been seething away there like TB ever since I worked for the Scripts Department of the National Theatre in the 1970s.

3. We will have time to look at the works that George probably strove over the next few months to leave in a state which would enable Kittie (his editor and agent) to publish them if he did not come back from the war.

4. I will have more space in which to elaborate/bore about the problems of the biographer…

5. As the centenary of George’s death approaches, I will keep you au courant with what is happening to mark it and to celebrate his life and achievement.

Er, now that I look at it all, it’s rather daunting, on top of finishing a 160,000-word book!

The blog will close on 30 July 2015, one year after I began it.

Next entry: The Western Front


About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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